Some rheumatoid arthritis (RA) medications can lower your risk for heart attacks and stroke. Symptoms of RA include pain, inflammation, and stiffness in your body. Left untreated, these symptoms can cause damage in your joints and reach other organs such as your heart and lungs. This damage can increase your risk for heart attacks and stroke.
RA medications like disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are used long-term to target inflammation in the body. DMARDs reduce your risk for heart attacks and stroke by reducing inflammation over time.
These medicines take a while to get into your system. Your rheumatologist may prescribe a medicine called a glucocorticoid (possibly Prednisone or Medrol) in the meantime, while DMARDs are getting into your system. Prednisone and Medrol have not been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people with RA.
Talk to your rheumatologist about your RA symptoms. Your rheumatologist can determine if your RA medications are working. When your medications are working, you will have fewer symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Having less inflammation in your body lowers your risk for heart attacks and stroke.
Some RA medicines have the knack for preventing strokes and a heart attack!